With the Right to Repair movement surging around the world, now is the perfect moment to check out the Right to Repair Youtube town halls, which will help you get involved with your local policymakers to ensure that you can fix your stuff! — Read the rest
Last year saw a massive surge in the right to repair movement, which seeks to limit manufacturers' power to undermine repairs, by mandating certain design decisions to facilitate independent servicing of goods, as well as access to parts and manuals.
Surya Raghavendran started fixing phones when Apple tried to charge him $120 to fix the defective screen they'd installed in his phone; instead, he followed online instructional videos and fixed it himself.
As I wrote last week, the California Farm Bureau (which lobbies for the state's farmers) struck a deal to gut the state's Right to Repair legislation, a move that will cost farmers their right to fix their own tractors and other heavy equipment.
Every three years, the US Copyright Office undertakes an odd ritual: they allow members of the public to come before their officials and ask for the right to use their own property in ways that have nothing to do with copyright law. — Read the rest
Every three years, the US Copyright Office asks America about the problems with Section 1201 of the DMCA, which bans breaking DRM even for legal reasons, and America gets to answer with requests for exemptions to this rule.
Illinois is one of 18 states where Right to Repair legislation has been introduced — rules that would force manufacturers to end the practice of undermining the independent repair sector with hidden service documents, unavailable parts, and DRM.
Update: due to popular demand, we've moved to a bigger space! We'll be at UCLA Moore Hall, Room 3340 (Reading Room), 457 Portola Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90095. There's 20 new spaces open: RSVP today!
A law intended to stop people from making off-brand DVD players now means that security researchers can't warn you about dangers from the cameras in your bedroom; that mechanics can't fix your car; and that your printer won't take third party ink.
The Security Innovation Center is a lobbying group backed by CompTIA, CTIA, TechNet and the Consumer Technology Association for the express purpose of fighting laws that would legalize repairing your own property, or choosing to have it repaired by third parties.
Writing in IEEE Spectrum, iFixit's superhero founder Kyle Wiens and Repair.org exective director Gay Gordon-Byrne bring the case for the right to repair (previously) to the engineering community, describing the economic, technical, and environmental benefits of permitting a domestic industry of local, expert technologists to help their neighbors get more out of their gadgets.
Eight US states are trying to pass minimal Right to Repair legislation that would require companies not to actively confound people who wanted to fix their stuff or choose an independent repair center. But in the EU, Europeans' strong preference for "durable, high-quality products that can be repaired and upgraded" has led to a proposal to require goods sold in Europe to be designed for improvement and maintenance, on the lines of the inspiring and enduring Maker's Bill of Rights.
Here's the list of companies that are quietly lobbying to kill New York State's Right to Repair legislation (previously), which would force companies to halt anticompetitive practices that prevent small businesses from offering repair services to their communities: "Apple, Verizon, Toyota, Lexmark, Caterpillar, Asurion, Medtronic" and the Consumer Technology Association "which represents thousands of electronics manufacturers."
States across America are considering "Right to Repair" legislation that would guarantee your right to choose who fixes your stuff (or to fix it yourself); but they're fighting stiff headwinds, from the motorcycle makers who claim that fixing your motorcycle should be a crime to Apple, who feel the same way, but about phones.
On Monday, March 6 at 10AM, I'll be participating in a non-partisan R-Street event on "Property Rights in the Digital Age," with participants from the Heritage Foundation, R-Street, the Open Technology Institute, and Freedomworks: "As we enter an age near total connectivity, we must ask ourselves, are our laws keeping up with technology? — Read the rest
Motherboard says a source told them that "an Apple representative, staffer, or lobbyist will testify" against the state's Right to Repair bill, which requires companies to make it easy for their customers to choose from a variety of repair options, from official channels to third parties to DIY.
Section 1201 of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act makes it both a crime and a civil offense to tamper with software locks that control access to copyrighted works — more commonly known as "Digital Rights Management" or DRM. As the number of products with software in them has exploded, the manufacturers of these products have figured out that they can force their customers to use their own property in ways that benefit the company's shareholders, not the products' owners — all they have to do is design those products so that using them in other ways requires breaking some DRM.
New York is one of four states considering legislation that would guarantee your right to get your stuff fixed by independent repair centers, curbing manufacturers' attempts to limit access to technical documentation and parts, meaning you pay less to keep your stuff working, and that means that your gadgets don't become immortal, toxic e-waste.
Master disassembler iFixIt is promoting the Self-Repair Manifesto. The slogans are music to the ears of anyone who believes in the joy of discovery, whether you're learning about nature, abstract properties, or technological artifacts. They're giving away 1,500 posters of the above image at no cost; you can also download it as a PDF. — Read the rest
The Washington Post reports that small auto repair shops in Massachusetts are pushing a bill that would require auto makers to provide (for a price) all diagnostic and software data they make available to their dealerships. "Massachusetts would become the first state to approve the so-called auto right-to-repair law. — Read the rest
Belgium is in the headlines in today's exciting recycling news.
France was the first European country to introduce a reparability index. Essentially, this is a score that indicates how viable it is to repair an object, like, say, a washing machine. — Read the rest